Thursday, October 31, 2002

Ahem (kaff, kaff) ahem..."BOO!"

Twice in a twenty-four hour period. Aren't you lucky? Just a couple of things I have to share:

I am finally amused by Halloween. This morning as I was performing my daily Snooze-Button Gavotte (in which I leap out of bed, nimbly dance across the room, push the snooze button, then pirouette back under the covers, and repeat every nine minutes for two hours... the most work my abs ever get), I decided that instead of reading a book, I'd turn on the TV. Now, I only keep a TV in my room to watch movies, so it doesn't have cable or even an aerial... and so it only gets stations in the first twelve channels (which you old folks will remember used to be referred to as VHF). So the only things I had to choose from for morning fare were Ricki Lake (love her, hate her show), Dr. Phil (whom my Grandmother thinks is a Holy Prophet and she keeps trying to get me to watch his idiotic show), Martha Stewart (she creeps me out somethin' fierce!), Live! with Regis Philbin and Kelly Rippa, and Reading Rainbow with Lieutenant Geordi LaForge (I know he has a real name, but damned if I can remember it).

Okay, so obviously I would settle on Regis and Kelly, being the lesser of five evils, and it was the funniest thing I've seen in forever! It was a cross-dressing Halloween show, with Kelly dressed up and impersonating Regis (with a devlish cunning... for a minute I thought she was him) and Regis impersonating Kelly (not as convincingly but with a more wicked lampoon), with the elderly portly director dressed as Wonder Woman and the much put-upon producer Gilman dressed as Britney Spears with an albino boa constrictor around his neck. It was so gay!

Anyway, I watched about half of the show and enjoyed every minute of it, and it seems to have put me in the Halloween spirit. So I wore the only two articles of orange clothing I own (a sweater and t-shirt, which are actually Papaya and Tangerine, respectively, but close enough) and my new rhinestone spider choker (which I finally figured out how to wear without the legs touching me... it took some intricate knot-tying and I can only hope I'll be able to get it off without scissors).

Then I got to the office, and this was waiting in my email:
    Subj: FLOCCINAUCINIHILIPILIFICATION: Your word of the day from

    Date: 10/31/02 9:42:12 AM Pacific Standard Time



    Today's Word: Floccinaucinihilipilification (Noun)

    Pronunciation: [flak-si-na(w)-si-ni-hi-li-pi-li-fi-'key-shĂȘn]

    Definition 1: Holding or judging something to be worthless.

    Usage 1: The word's main function is to be exhibited as an example of a long English word, longer by a letter than the word most people think is the longest, "antidisestablishmentarianism," but no match for "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis." There is also a widely underused verb, "floccinaucinihilipilificate." (A more useful noun with the same meaning is "floccinaucity" ['fla-si-'na(w)-si-tee].)

    Suggested Usage: The word was first recorded in a letter by William Shenstone written in 1741 and published in 1777: "I loved him for nothing so much as his flocci-nauci-nihili-pili-fication of money". Don't forget that the verb is just as useless as the noun: "It is difficult for Flossie to avoid floccinaucinihilipilificating her nearly otiose husband, Otis."

    Etymology: Back in the eighteenth century, the Eton Latin Grammar contained a rule that mentioned a set of words all of which meant "of little or no value": flocci, nauci, nihili, and pili. Someone, obviously, had to combine them and add the suffixes -ation to the result. Flocci is the plural of floccus "a tuft of wool" and pili, that of pilus "a hair." "Nihili" is from nihil "nothing," while "nauci" just means "worthless."

    —Dr. Language,
Isn't that just about the best word you've ever seen? I'm going to spend the rest of the day learning how to pronounce it, and then finding a way of working it into a conversation. It's little things like this that make my life suddenly seem worthwhile.

And finally, here is a Trick or Treat for you:

Why does it have to be Trick OR Treat? Can't I do both?

No comments:

Post a Comment